How to store a cold frame during the summer.

Cold Frame In Garden 2

The biggest pain about having things that only serve one purpose for one season is where to put the stupid thing when that purpose and or season is over.

Like mittens.  Or men.

I had high hopes for my cold frame, what with it seeming like winter was never going to end in Southern Ontario, but it did end and I had to pull up my cold frames before all of my plants got cooked.

I don’t live in a large house with a lot of property or a lot of storage, so something as simple as a small cold frame is a pain to stash anywhere.

I could just unscrew it and store the boards, but I don’t want to have to do that every  year.  I have enough to do what with trying to keep my men stashed by season.

So I came up with another use for the cold frame, where I could leave it in tact during the months I wasn’t using it on the garden.

I believe the words you’re waiting for are TA-DA.

Cold Frame Shelf 1

I removed the glass frame which is thin enough to fit behind my potting shed, flipped the frame on its end and use it as a shelving unit on the front porch. At the moment I’ve gone screamingly country as you can see.

Cold Frame Shelf 5

But with a titch of modern what with the succulents. I like country but I find it hard to go TOTALLY country. There always has to be something sleek in there.  Even if it’s on a front porch.

Cold Frame Shelf 3

To make the cold frame more useful I added a piece of wood across the middle of it, held up with another piece of wood. Nothing is screwed in, it’s just wedged there to make taking it apart a lot easier.

Cold Frame Shelf 2

Cold Frame Shelf 4

Cold Frame Shelf 6

Red Geraniums

Cold Frame Shelf 7

Cold Frame Shelf

So if you too have a small coldframe and a tiny house … keep this little shelving tip in mind. You could stick it at the side of your house with plants or tools sitting on and hanging off of it.

Like a man.

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  1. victoria says:

    You’re so clever and funny!

  2. jainegayer says:

    The succulents saved you from a “gone country” intervention.
    I like the picnic hamper too.

  3. Andrea says:

    There you go again…. making us feel all mortal.

  4. Grammy says:

    Not only a great idea, but I just love the little vignettes (is that the word I’m looking for?) you show — parts of the whole that are in themselves interesting and beautiful. You have a knack for that, and this is an excellent use of it. What a lovely porch you have.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Grammy! I have a hunch that by next week I’ll be sick of all the rustic country and the shelves will be filled with white pots and bowls. Which in turn will be filled with dirty garden gloves and quite possibly a dead bug or two. ~ karen!

      • Grammy says:

        Then your porch will look more like mine when there are so many other things to do than worry about the artful display that is no more. But that’s okay, it’ll make me feel better about myself.

  5. Agnes says:

    Karen, wondering where you buy your succulents, locally? Price?

    • Karen says:

      HI Agnes – Those trays were from Fortinos’ (Loblaws) garden centre. They were $9.99 for 9. What you see there is 2 trays of 9. So $20 for all of them. ~ karen!

      • Ruth says:

        You made me stop to count… and that looks like more than 18 succulents. Did they give you what we call ‘brawta’ here in JA? [extras]

        Or did you just plant them in some mysterious way to mess with my head?

        • Karen says:

          LOL. You’re right! It was 24 succulents for $20, lol. I guess I getter go let Agnes know now!

  6. Agnes says:

    Holy crap, that’s so cheap for succulents! I’ve been looking for cheap succulents or cacti for a bridal shower craft. You have given me hope. Care to disclose the exact location of that store in case I fall short to find them in my area? I’m in Waterloo, but parents live in Hamilton.

    • Melanie says:

      Agnes, for the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that the Home Depot garden centres have pretty good prices on succulents. (I’m in York Region.)

    • Karen says:

      I’ve lied by the way, lol. There are 12 in each case so you get 24, not 18!

  7. Agnes says:

    Hmm, that is worth a shot too. Thanks. I’ve only really used Belgian Nursery out in Breslau before. They have an awesome variety, and GIANT cacti to stare at for display purposes only though.

    • Lynne says:

      Is that the place close to Stratford? If so, I lurve that place. If I recall correctly they have an amazing variety of orchids too.

      I’ve stopped there a couple of times on my way home from plays and bought more than I should. LOL

      • Agnes says:

        It’s actually pretty much exactly in between Kitchener/Waterloo and Guelph on Victoria St/HWy 7. Not really near Stratford at all. They do seem to have every kind of plant though!

  8. Cynthia Jones says:

    If you do get tired of the country theme quickly, dig out the white bowls etc. as you do best and spend at least some time considering which apertures (apertures)? of said man could be used to store small garden utensils and cacti. There’s a lot to be said for learning the art of taxidermy in this instance to provide one’s self with a portable and realistic scarecrow to position throughout the garden. As one particular former man had plenty of space for the storing of muscles, I suggest you start stocking up on hay bales now for stuffing him later on.
    The man–nequin could be put at the front gate for Halloween with some scary face paint, naked on the lawn with some coal stuck in the eye sockets and a carrot up his nose in winter time and for those special yule tide times, set upside down on the roof with a red suit and some reindeer. Makes sense to me. There’s got to be some entertainment value in used men.

    PS on the subject of scarecrows. I made one. It was to go in the veggie patch to scare off crows and minor birds. (I live in Australia). It was so good, it scared me every single day when I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye and I could not stand it. I threw him into the wheelie bin and the bin man was very angry with me. He thought it was a body.

    I have organisation envy and am about to go outside and position my buckets, utensils and gloves in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! That’s funny. Pink tool belt sister keeps scaring herself with new lamps she bought, lol. I guess generally speaking we dont like change. Or strange men standing in our garden. ~ karen

    • Ruth says:

      I’m afraid to ask what your scarecrow was made out of…. *shivers*

  9. Louise says:

    I love the way you have each item so artfully positioned! The tipped-over pail(?) is a triumph of aesthetics!

  10. Su says:

    cute. inventive…. now you will have the same problem in the fall as I do…. where to put all the darn adorable succulents in the house….. 🙂

  11. All simple girls and Alan Jackson would be proud. LOVE it!

  12. Dagmar says:

    Just curious, do the men get stacked one top of each other , or side by side? Or is it that they get traded in for a new one each season? You know, they possess some interesting twig and berries, and other limbs that we women also have that could be useful for hanging things off of. But you might want to keep those ornaments in the *back* yard, your neighbors, at least the other male ones may not appreciate it so much. And BTW Cynthia, I wish you had taped the episode when they came to pick up your bin, poor garbage-men.

  13. Allison says:

    What do you have growing in the mason jars? I love them!

  14. Suanne says:

    Ahhh, please don’t make country/rustic sound like an inferior design choice. I live in a log home and “rustic” is what makes my heart sing. 🙂 Isn’t it wonderful that we are all so different? Love the look of the cold frame on your porch….pure genious.

  15. Karol says:

    A little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll. The Osmond family salutes you.

  16. Ruth says:

    I will never need a cold frame, but this is a nice use of space. I am mesmerised by the balancing act going on with that middle shelf…. *my poor heart* What is the name of the plant sitting right in the middle of it? The plant that appears to be tasked with maintaining stability….

  17. Ella says:

    Love it!

  18. Tigersmom says:

    Love the picnic hamper (a new Christie’s find?) and the saving power of those succulents.

    I assume everyone with a basement has plenty of room to store anything, but those would be a pain to haul up and down the stairs. Plus those Oscar statues take up a lot of space….

  19. Mary Werner says:


  20. Ev Wilcox says:

    What a great idea! And it is indeed lovely as well as functional. We are humbled once again. As for the men storage problem-just make a scarecrow and change it’s clothes when you feel the need of a different man-person. Get a second-hand suit, or bib overalls, maybe scrubs…you get it! Like those goose statues one sees on porches and yards, and they have their own closet full of outfits. And take pictures for us!

  21. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Cute vignette, very welcoming. Wish I could get my hands on those succulents and that galvanized tray.

  22. Sandy says:

    We had the same picnic hamper when I was growing up! It was all dented and scratched up but my mom wouldn’t toss it. I found it in their basement 4 years ago when they were purging to downsize to a condo, I had no problem tossing it in the “dump pile”.

  23. Susie Heller says:

    On Cynthia Jones Man-equin (sp) I remember my friend had one of those store bought life size James Dean stand-ups in her shower with the curtain half closed. Scared everyone who entered!

  24. Teddee Grace says:

    Keeping your cold frames intact and decorated when not in use with just a touch of country…good ideas and cute.

  25. Robin says:

    Dead bug…I put on a pair of gloves before with a live, disgustingly large spider in one of the fingers. Needless to say, he got squished into my finger nail etc. So, from that day forward I store my gloves in an airtight, closed lid Rubbermaid container. I am deathly afraid of the 8 legged beasts. They all seem huge to me! So I like the idea of a grab and go area, just not for my gloves!!! Love the display you created. Colours are lovely and seems to be balanced to the eye!

    • West Coast Nan says:

      Oh Robin, that visual sent shivers down my spine. The thought of a spider squished into my finger nail…. I’d be doing the heebie-jeebie dance trying to get that sucker off and now like you, I’ll be storing my g;oves in a container with a tight fitting lid.

  26. Jennifer says:

    Hi Karen,
    I’m interested about your influence as being a Bog Ambassador. The new styles are terrible and so are the colors. I noticed your short classics amongst the lovely decor! They popped out at me like a needle full of heroin to a junkie. I think I bought the last black ones in my size on the planet. I’m doomed to walk the earth in colorless drab boots from now on. I had the mayflower short classics and got tons on compliments. Now my full time job is stalking eBay to see if anyone has a pair up for sale in the old styles. Why Bogs would discontinue those and the other colorful ones is beyond me. Can you make them bring back the old colors and styles please?? Thank you.

  27. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Another bright idea..solves a problem and looks great..

  28. Niki says:

    Brilliant! I have a tiny bookshelf that I used back in the day I sold at farmers markets. Not ever being able to get rid of things (especially wooden things) I’ve been tripping over said shelf for ages. No more! Out to the porch it goes! Thanks again Karen, you rascally rabbit.

  29. Becky says:

    Yep, the thought of spiders in my garden gloves gives me the creeps too. It might be more trouble than you all want to go to, but I use wooden clothespins for everything in my garden, so I started folding my glove openings over and “pinning” them shut. So far, so good.

    Karen, great use of the succulents! I’d say you were “thinking outside the box” on with that idea, but ….

    • Becky says:

      Ugh, can’t edit that extra word (on) out of the last sentence. Yes, I am a retentive English major. Am I banished?

  30. Laura Bee says:

    Lovely~ my computer ate my comment as I posted…grr.
    As I was saying… Lovely ~ the cold frame shelf that is. I am wondering about the thing that is only in one picture. Is it a dust pan? I have a very old fancy metal one I use outside. 🙂

  31. Shauna says:

    Love the screamingly country with a touch of modern.

  32. Luanne says:

    I’m glad you posted this – when I read the original cold frame post, I did actually think: “Man, I’d like to try this – but wherever would I keep it when it isn’t in use??”

    That said, here is the next barrier. I live in Winnipeg – where I would use it gets 4ish feet of snow by the end of winter. Any ideas?

  33. It really is hard finding room for everything. So many men, so little space!

  34. Cynthia Jones says:

    Dagmar and Susie. (oops and Karen of course)
    I think use man-equins for as long as they bend and fold co-operatively, then when the annoyance factor gets all to much, get out the chain saw and do the right thing by your garbage man.

    Neat, tidy sections that fit in the bin with the lid shut are what is required to follow local council regulations.

    I would absolutely understand and encourage keeping any ornamental appendages to dry in borax or press for 6 weeks in a flower press. These could be sprayed with 24 karat gold paint to go under a nice cloche in the lounge or a sprig of holly with berries could be pinned strategically for that special touch on the front door to greet guests at Christmas time.

    It is up to each decorator to decide for themselves whether they want to place a small identification plague on each ‘ornament’.

    Never let it be said I am taking over Karen’s blog and trying to be controlling.

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